Personal Titles in English

American Culture,English Grammar 22 March 2010 | 4 Comments

There are 4 personal titles that are used a lot in the English language. Mr. Mrs. Miss and Ms. In the UK, you do not use periods after the abbreviations of personal titles, but in the USA and Canada you do use periods.

You use titles with people who are older than you or who you respect. Depending on your work environment you may or may not call your boss by their personal title and last name. At my job we call everyone by their first names, even the CEO of the company. However, if you work at a school, even the teachers call each other using their personal titles because they want the students to do the same.

Here in the South, they also have a new use of personal titles. My children’s friends call me, “Ms. Yvonne.” In many other states (like Texas) they would call me, “Mrs. Crawford.” So, some of this is regional.

Mr. is used for married and unmarried males. Mr. is followed by the last name of the person. In mailings you can either put both the first and last name or just the last name depending on how formal you would like to be. For young boys you can use “Master,” but this is not the norm in the USA.
Mr. Brian Crawford (on a formal letter)
Mr. Crawford (in conversation)

Miss is used for young unmarried women.
Miss Amelia Crabtree (on a formal letter)
Miss Crabtree (in conversation)

Mrs. is used for married women or women who are old enough to be married.
Mrs. Yvonne Crawford (on a formal letter)
Mrs. Crawford (in conversation)

Ms. is a newer title for women. It’s used for when you aren’t quite sure whether or not the person is married or not, so you can just say Ms.
Ms. Culpepper
Ms. Alexandra Culpepper
Ms. Yvonne (Like stated above, in the South, kids will call their friend’s parents by their first name but add Ms. in front of it.)

4 Responses on “Personal Titles in English”

  1. Tatia_Kova says:

    Hi!
    Miss and Mrs it is clear with these. but how to pronounce Ms??

  2. Yvonne says:

    You pronouce it like [miz]. So, like Miss, but with a [z] at the end. Thanks for the question!

  3. Tatia_Kova says:

    thank you:) i didn’t know about it
    and also I understand the english transcription=))

  4. Yvonne says:

    You’re welcome! See you on twitter!

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